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Vel'Koz Build Guide by Aqua Dragon


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League of Legends Build Guide Author Aqua Dragon

Diamond Support Vel'koz Basics - Peer Review

Aqua Dragon Last updated on June 29, 2017
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Guide Top

The Author

Aquaired Skillset



space
Hi! I’m Aqua Dragon. I ended Season 4 at Master 1 and I play Support Vel'koz

I also play: I also take people's suggested playstyles, optimize them, and then make guides on them!

Keep in mind this is not meant to be an exhaustive guide. It is meant to outline the basic principle, items, runes, and playstyle of Support Vel'koz. As such, I won't be delving into why certain customization choices were made. However, my hope is that I will have explained Support Vel'koz enough that my rationale will be a self-evident extension, and to also allow you to make personal customizations as well.

Want to to discuss or watch this build?
Join our community of off-meta lovers!



Here's a Diamond Support Vel'koz game.


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Pros and Cons

Pros


  • Powerful, constant lane poke
  • Incredible mana sustain while laning
  • Extreme kiting power and self-peel
  • Always relevant damage

Cons


  • Difficulties against gap-closing supports
  • Immensely fragile
  • Few power spikes
  • Lesser peeling power for the ADC


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What is Support Vel'koz?

Do not Stare Into Beam



Support Vel'koz is a ranged artillery support, easily the best in class due to their massive true damage that allows them to deal unfair damage on a budget.

Figuring out which items to place in that budget to maximize damage is the tricky part. There's two foundational principles behind the choices.

First, Vel'koz is not a mid-range burst range, or at least shouldn't be played as one. There are a wealth of better mid-range burst supports if that's the intended pathway. Vel'koz excels best when poking at a massive distance, with only a secondary consideration on the burst.

This means that Vel'koz is especially interesting in maximizing CDR as fast as possible, in order to deal more raw poke damage through more Plasma Fissions.

Second, damage efficiency is the name of the game; not to be confused with gold efficiency.

Gold efficiency only tells you how much gold an item theoretically costs while ignoring AP scalings, true damage, and damage patterns. This makes it a decent tool, but we can do better.

By using a calculator I've created for Vel'koz, it is possible to find the total damage of any set of spell casts, which is divided from the gold spent. The Gold Spent For Each Point of Damage, also known as Gold/DMG, also known as damage efficiency.

This metric is significantly more useful; Rabadons may give the most raw damage, but it is also an insane amount of gold. What if Sorc Shoes provide half the damage at a third of the cost? Then Sorcs would be the better bang for buck.

This gold/dmg metric is what distingushes this Vel'koz guide from the others. Vel'koz would approve.


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Summoner Spells

Geome-choose



Ghost seems like an odd choice to have on Support Vel'koz, but makes more sense when you consider the previous analysis.

Vel'koz is generally very far from fights. This makes close-range spells like ignite and exhaust fairly ineffective. As the game goes on, Vel'koz begins having trouble being close enough to use the summoner spells optimally.

Heal would seem like the next best choice, but it suffers in utility from Vel'koz' fragility. Because Vel'koz dies in a very all-or-nothing way, Heal becomes useless for surviving against bursty gap-closers. This means Heal would be mostly for teammates, but that forces Vel'koz into suboptimal positioning to stay in range to actually use Heal at all.

On the other hand, Ghost amplifies Vel'koz' kiting power to absurd levels and provides indirect utility by being able to reach teamfights or teammates more quickly. It doesn't have as much utility during the laning phase, but this is made up by Vel'koz' safety-by-distance approach to harass, which requires no trading. It does make the laning phase more unforgiving, but Vel'koz is an unforgiving champion in the first place.


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Build Order

The Scientific Process



The aforementioned Vel'koz Gold/Dmg calculator forms the primary basis of the build order. This sequence of items were tested for the best Gold/Dmg value for poking scenarios (primarily Q harass), though it coincidentally is also the order that best suits a burst rotation.

One thing to note: your core items and masteries (Intelligence, Fiendish Codex, Frost Queen's Claim) make up 25% of your CDR, but the runes scale up to 30% CDR instead of only 20%. This is intentional. You want to hit the 45% CDR cap around the mid game when you're level 12 instead of waiting the entire forty minutes to reach 45% through exact scaling. This means you have a little waste in your runes, but this is still less waste than the mediocre gold/dmg value offered by nearly all the CDR options.

Starting Items


then

Continue by getting
> > > > > > > >

You may notice that you don't yet upgrade the second Fiendish Codex. This is intentional. Codex is one of the best Gold/Dmg values for Vel'koz, while also being the cheapest source of CDR; a double value. This does mean that Codex takes up a slot for a large portion of the mid and late game, but it's rare to even reach the point where slot efficiency even becomes relevant. Codex is essentially a "complete item" for Vel'koz.

While a controversial opinion, Vel'koz doesn't necessarily need Sightstone only if ample control wards are being bought. I personally don't build it, but I also buy an enormous amount of control wards that make up for it, while also liberally using totem ward charges. Unless you are particularly adept with warding and scouting with Q/E, you should build Sightstone.

If you somehow manage to get fed enough to finish the cores, build the following in any order.



Be careful about deciding to build Rabadons, Void Staff, or Ludens. Building any of these will consume the final slot in the inventory, preventing room for pink wards. You may want to consider upgrading the Fiendish Codex instead. Alternatively, you can make room for another slot by selling Frost Queen's Claim and turning Sightstone into an Eye of the Watchers.

For poke damage, Void Staff has the best gold/dmg value compared to Ludens.

For burst damage, Void Staff, Ludens, and Rabadons all have roughly equal Gold/Dmg. However, Ludens also offers move speed, but is more expensive. Rabadons offers more raw damage, but is more expensive. Choose the item based on the necessary immediacy of power.


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Stage of the Game

Early



In the early game, your goals are to
  • Ping enemies away from minions with Plasma Fission
  • Avoid the other spells unless something can be secured
  • Keep the area thoroughly warded

With an early Frostfang, you're able to almost indefinitely spam Plasma Fission. However, don't just shoot wildly. Aim with purpose. Every shot, ask yourself: did I stop their ADC from reaching a minion? Did I force another potion? Did I push back their support?

You absolutely should not be getting hit. Vel'koz easily has the most range out of any standard support, meaning damage is completely avoidable. Be aggressive with poking, but never take a hit to get off a hit. Make the lane as one-sided as possible.

Remember that if you press Q again while Plasma Fission is in mid-air, it will split early.

Your kill potential pre-6 isn't terribly massive. Try to avoid being overtly aggressive until then. That means saving tectonic disruption instead of trying to hit the enemies with it.

Avoid using Void Rift. Your mana regeneration can only barely regenerate the mana drain of Plasma Fission, so adding Void Rift on top of that will get you oom quickly. You should largely use it only when helping clear waves or when the enemies have committed to a fight.

Once you have your ult, you can almost one-shot squishy laners. This is the time when you can be very forward about landing Tectonic Disruption and combo'ing your other spells for an easy kill. If you notice incoming help, use Ghost to aggressively position for Tectonic Disruption, though be mindful of incoming CC.

Mid



As the laning phase ends, you will start roaming more and helping around
  • Continue maintaining strong vision control of the map
  • Try to be near areas of potential conflict to ult enemies down
  • Use Ghost to kite and chase better during teamfights
  • Chase down lonely opponents and kill them

Your role before fights remains straightforward. Your mana regen is also now sufficient to spam wildly. Don't intentionally miss, but it's often sufficient to just present the threat of Plasma Fission even if you don't hit it.

When enemies get closer, get yourself farther. Try to stay close to the tip of your spell's range and make sure the areas around you are warded well.

Don't be afraid to use Ghost to arrive to fights several seconds earlier. It's on an impressively short cooldown, so be liberal with its various uses.

Keep an eye on your ADC and see if you can help them out against melee enemies by using Tectonic Disruption.

Your ult is on a relatively short cooldown. Don't feel afraid to use it to gain even small advantages.

Late



The role remains largely similar
  • Less vision at this stage makes warding tough. Be cautious.
  • With its low cooldown, you should have Ghost ready for every teamfight.
  • Prioritize protecting the ADC over throwing out damage

Though you do impressive damage, so does your ADC. The difference is that they are more fragile. If they need some protection, give them some peel while throwing the longer-range spells into teamfights.

Try to save your ult until the enemies have gotten busy with the rest of your team. Using it much earlier will almost certainly ensure its interruption.


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Thanks!

This guide was a lot of fun to write, and I hope you all have learned everything you would have liked. If you have any questions, leave a comment or drop a line over at twitch.tv/aquadragon33 !

Go and "publish" some findings.